Let’s be clear about what happened to Jared Malsin before Israeli hasbara lays down its marker. The Shin Bet is responsible for subjecting a professional journalist to inhuman detention conditions in virtual solitary confinement, with minimal contact with his attorney and almost no contact with family, in a darkened room with only a meager suitcase worth of possessions. No showers, no change of clothes, no writing implements, no books or newspapers. Subject to the whims of his jailers.
Under these deplorable conditions apparently, Malsin caved and voluntarily (if you can believe the government’s position) agreed to leave Israel, thus acceding to Israel’s original intent to expel him from Israel for his critical reporting on the Israeli Occupation for the Palestinian Maan news agency:
Castro Daoud said his client, Jared Malsin, chose to leave because “he could no longer endure the conditions of his detention.”
Further, an Israeli judge accepted at face value a legal document purportedly signed by the victim requesting that he vacate his appeal of deportation without guranteeing from the victim’s own mouth that he signed the document willingly. Malsin signed this document while being deprived of contact with counsel a fundamental right under most democratic governments (outside Israel). Nor did the judge even confirm with the man’s attorney any of the particulars of the signing. This all reeks of the comfy relationship between Israeli justice and the security establishment. Judges have no interest in prying too closely into the business of the Shin Bet. They’d just as soon wash their hands of sticky cases like this one. Malsin’s alleged petition presented him a convenient way of getting out of it.
You can’t quite call Malsin’s treatment torture since there was deprivation and emotional abuse but apparently no physical abuse. But it is the worst form of duress. One doesn’t expect 25 year old Americans, no matter how strong their principles, to withstand eight days of mistreatment as Malsin did. Perhaps he broke. No doubt relentless forms of emotional gamesmanship were utilized by the Israelis to get the result they wanted. The Shin Bet is quite adept at this. Perhaps Malsin thought he got a deal of some sort from the authorities who would’ve wanted to avoid the opprobrium accompanying the forcible detention of a journalist from Israeli territory, though it wouldn’t be worthy the paper it wasn’t written on.
I urge Malsin to make a public statement as soon as possible to clarify what happened. No matter how badly he was treated and whatever he may feel about how his ordeal ended he has too many international supporters who rallied to his defense who seek to know what happened and why he abandoned his case.
He left Israeli earlier today on an El Al flight for New York.